Handheld devices are increasingly becoming a common technology in work, school, and play. Nearly every student at secondary age (11-18 years old) now owns a device, whether it is a mobile phone, smart phone or iPod. This accompanied with an increasing number of applications being developed for educational administrators, teachers, and students, handheld devices are fast becoming a favourite for educators and students to use in the classroom.
Handheld devices allow students to use their hand held as a graphing calculator, word processor, database, test prep tool, and reference resource. Teachers and administrators are using handhelds for record keeping, scheduling, and other administrative as well as teaching applications. Additional devices such as science probes, digital cameras, digital audio recorders, keyboards, GPS devices, and other modules can expand the hardware even more by downloaded applications.
Because they are inexpensive when compared to laptop computers, many schools are finding that a mixture of desktop, laptop, and handheld devices can be used to meet a variety of educational needs. The mobility of handheld devices also adds another dimension to the resource, especially for the more practical subjects like PE, Technology and even field trips.
A number of schools are trialling the use of 1:1 iPads for students and teachers. Daniel Edwards (@syded06) is leading an iPad trial in High Wycombe. Dan is blogging about his experiences here, where so far the trial has had a mixed response; enthusiasm and interest from parents and students with staff being very sceptical, but the tide is turning! I will allow Dan to give you details of the rest of his trial.